A/C Compressor Question

87 GP

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My 87 GP with R12 and R-4 compressor has been acting up a little these past few days. Temps in the mid to upper 90's heat index around 105*. This is a Chevy 305 4BBl BTW. The symptoms are that after being driven most of the day or after sitting in traffic with the AC on, the compressor clutch will start to slip and screech.

I can drive the car all night long w/o this happening. What I wanted to know is should I change the clutch? Should I just change the entire compressor and recharge the system? If I do that should I convert to R134a or use a R12 substitute?

I noticed that if I sprayed penetrating oil on the compressor the noise will go away for awhile. Also when I got home it was starting to make the noise again so I took the garden hose and back flushed the condenser. As soon as I cooled the condenser the compressor started working normally.

So now is this heat related? Should I look to clean the condenser fins better? Should I check/change the thermostat? Does the system need more freon? Is there an idle up solenoid when the AC is on that would increase fan speed and maybe isn't working?

What are some of your thoughts/experiences?
 

TropicDave

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How's your oil charge? Just a guess, but if the compressor is dragging a bit because of low lubrication it might cause the clutch to slip and squeal. I'd check the system charge too. As for a conversion to R-134a, depends on what you want. R-12 would probably work better (cooler) but then you can't get it as readily anymore. I went ahead and did my Ranger and Grand Prix for that reason alone.

In any case, making sure that the AC system has the correct oil and refrigerant levels can't hurt.
 

87 GP

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Well I tightened the belts and seemed to have solved the problem. The strange thing is the belt didn't seem loose. It had hardly any deflection, but when I tightened it the A/C blows cold even at idle. The car also idles up now which it wasn't doing before. I didn't think the belt would have anything to do with the idle but maybe since the compressor isn't dragging the solenoid is getting the right signal? Anyway. why ask why?! As long as it's working I'm a happy guy! LOL!
 
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